Indonesian volcano death toll rises past 320

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The Independent Online

The number of people killed in recent eruptions of Indonesia's most volatile volcano has risen to 324, officials said today.

Syamsul Maarif of the National Disaster Management Agency said the death toll from Mount Merapi's eruptions rose after some victims succumbed to severe burns and more bodies were found on its slopes.

The volcano's initial eruption on October 26 occurred less than 24 hours after a tsunami slammed into the remote Mentawai islands on the western end of the country, killing 509 people. Also, 173 people were killed by flash floods that hit West Papua's Wasior district early last month.

Indonesia is prone to natural disasters because it sits along the Pacific "Ring of Fire," a horseshoe-shaped string of faults that lines the Pacific Ocean.



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